From a familiar cartoon rings the jingle, “happy, happy, joy, joy.” This simple phrase captures the essence of fort building for happy children. In truth, don’t the moments of giggles and laughter outweigh, outlast and outpace the down times of fort building? If we admit it, not one of us dreaded playtime while building forts as a child. It captured our attention and imagination for hours. Never once did the words, “I’m bored” spill from our lips. When we escaped into whatever world we created, that left us with memories, dreams, and joy. While construction woes and neighborhood conflicts may have arisen, the fort smoothed it all over into happiness. Even in the current digital age, the same holds true for our children.
The Basics Remain the Same
Why? Because the basics do not change. All children maintain the same simple requirements to be happy. And, play proves a foundational factor, a worthy investment of a child’s time. Forts meet kids where they are at and give them what they need As parents we may face the temptation to create an environment which ensures only happiness in the lives of our children. The truth is that we are not responsible for their emotions. Our job includes fostering relationships and activities which allow our children to develop all kinds of skills which breed strength, resilience and ultimately, happiness. So, how do we do this with Fort Magic?
Play Without Instructions
The praises of unstructured play fill parenting magazines, doctor’s offices, and the web. Yet the fast-paced world of activities and toys that provide play for our children tends to edge out this practice in our kid’s lives. Slow down and stop for just a moment. Unstructured playtimes prove vital to happiness. What better way to present the opportunity than with a pile of Fort Magic sticks, arcs, and connectors? “Go at it” needs to be the only instruction, even if you have time to get the words out of your mouth. Likely, without prompting, your kids will be off creating the fort found only in their imaginations.
Freedom of Choice
Age- and situation-appropriate choices give kids opportunities to develop decision-making skills by understanding the results of their choices and building self-assurance. Happiness is a major byproduct of the fort-building process. Fort Magic kits offer endless safe and empowering choices. Children get to decide on:
— Shape and design.
— Solutions to problems.
— External coverings.
— Interior decorating.
— Play activities.
— And more.
Family rituals and routines breathe life into a child’s happiness quotient. According to William Doherty, PhD, nothing could be more valuable. Whether it’s a structured family weekly routine or a full-blown, extended family holiday celebration, these activities bring meaning to a child’s experience and develop family bonds. Forts fit perfectly into accomplishing this within a child’s life. Bedtime forts, or Friday night pizza combined with watching a movie in forts, give kids something to look forward to beyond the time-based structure of an ordinary week. Holiday and birthday celebrations create memories filled with happiness and sentiment.
Remember the excitement you felt the last time a favorite activity completely absorbed you? How about the completion of a challenging task that brought a flood of exciting emotions? Fueling our kids’ passions and encouraging their investment also creates happiness. The open-ended nature of fort building finds something for everyone. Children with a passion for STEM pour themselves into the design and construction of the fort. Those with an artistic flair gravitate toward decorating or performing within the finished product. Name a passion and forts encourage it.
Expend Physical Energy
Observe your home for a time. The more sedentary kids are, the less happy they appear. In fact, sassiness, cantankerous spirits and argumentative interactions tend to result. Happiness requires physical activity, and that releases plenty of feel-good brain chemicals. Getting kids moving with forts is a no-brainer. Bodies run to gather supplies and pieces, while legs and arms get a workout and stretch when constructing designs. Once a fort is completed, the process begins with a new inspiration, or play within the fort happens. Both processes naturally involve running, jumping and the like.
To achieve well-being and find happiness, emotional connections to parents, siblings, family, friends and pets are vital. In fact, Edward Hallowell, MD, found that a sense of connectedness protects kids from emotional distress and risky behaviors better than any other factor. Fort building creates happiness in children as they create and work with friends and family. Making quality time a priority around designing and playing in forts bodes well for family bonds and a child’s happiness.
Several other factors link to your child’s happiness. Forts offer avenues to experience many of them. We will let you get creative on how to use Fort Magic to practice gratitude, give responsibility, succeed and fail, praise appropriately and nurture your happiness example. After all, the joy of play is not for kids alone.
How do you find joy for your children in fort building? Share your ideas and experiences below!
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Learn With Play At Home Blog: An inspiring educational blog created by a primary teacher that strongly believes in making learning FUN & seamless through childhood playtime ideas and activities.
The Artful Parent Blog: One of our absolute favorite creative blogs for children and families. The Artful Parent blog is filled with simple ideas to fill your family’s life with art and creativity. A must see blog for sure.
Epic Childhood Blog: A wonderful family blog about everyday fun and educational activities inspired by play based learning, learning through play, enriched outdoor play, and creative play.
You Clever Monkey: A fun blog with lots of ideas for home and school encouraging children to think, to explore, to question, to contribute, to respect, to create, to play, to engage, to pretend, to care, to communicate, to be confident, to become all that is promised to them.
1+1+1=1: The 1plus1plus1equals1 Blog is a fantastic resource on Homeschooling and educational learning ideas from tots to big kids.
Fort Magic Customer Photos via Facebook: Visit our Fort Magic Facebook page to see our customer creativity shine with fun pics and videos of families enjoying their Fort Magic kit during playtime.
Fort Magic Customer Photos via Instagram: Visit our Fort Magic Instagram page to see our customer creativity shine with fun pics and videos of families enjoying their Fort Magic kit during playtime.